During Wednesday’s Champions League match between Barcelona and Copenhagen, Copenhagen striker Cesar Santin was put through on goal for a breakaway, when he suddenly stopped; thinking he was offside for whatever reason, when he wasn’t. Play went on, and everyone – myself included – was bewildered at why on Earth Santin stopped play. “You always play the whistle”. It’s the #1 rule you learn in U-10 footy. I didn’t understand the reason Santin actually stopped until now.
Santin did hear a whistle, but it wasn’t from French referee Stephan Lannoy; it was from Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Pinto, who successfully atempted to fool Santin into thinking he was offside. FC Copenhagen launched this on their website after the game:
“Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League match against Barcelona featured a bizarre incident in the first half, where Lions striker Cesar Santin found himself alone with the home team’s goalkeeper.
“Santin stopped during his free run on goal when he – as he explained later – had heard the referee’s whistle. The French referee had not whistled for offside, though, and so FC Copenhagen missed out on a clear scoring opportunity.
“Afterwards FC Copenhagen, via television pictures, became aware that Barcelona’s goalkeeper Jose Pinto appeared to imitate the referee’s whistle during that time and then showed his satisfaction towards Barcelona’s bench.
“FC Copenhagen have condemned the incident, which goes against every principle of fair play and respect for the game and opponent.
“FC Copenhagen has a principle that matches are decided on the pitch, and have informed UEFA and Barcelona of the incident.”
Should we surprised by this action? Not really. After all, it comes from a club the turned their sprinklers on to kick off Inter Milan players from the Camp Nou in last years Champions League semi-final.
Video of the Pinto incident:
Pinto will face a minimum 2-match ban from UEFA.